Alleged Fraudster Sentenced to 2 Years in Parallel Criminal Case

Litigation Release No. 24674 / November 25, 2019

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kevin B. Merrill, et al., Civil Action No. 18-CV-2844-RDB (D. Md. filed Sept. 13, 2018)

United States v. Kevin B. Merrill, No. 18-CR-0465-RDB (D. Md. filed Sept. 13, 2018)

The last of the three alleged perpetrators that the SEC charged with conducting a Ponzi-like scheme that raised more than $345 million from over 230 investors across the United States, Cameron R. Jezierski, has been sentenced in a parallel criminal case. The court ordered Jezierski to serve 2 years in prison and an additional year of home confinement, and also ordered him to pay forfeiture of $116,435 and restitution of $45,093,384.

The criminal charges against Jezierski stem from the same misconduct alleged in the SEC's complaint, filed on September 13, 2018 in federal district court in Baltimore, and subsequently amended on November 6, 2018. From at least 2013 to 2018, Jezierski and co-defendants Kevin B. Merrill and Jay B. Ledford allegedly attracted investors by making false statements about how investors' money would be used and propped up their misstatements by creating sham entities and fraudulent documents. Rather than use investor funds to acquire and service debt portfolios as promised, the amended complaint alleges that defendants used the money to make Ponzi-like payments to investors and to fund Merrill's and Ledford's extravagant lifestyles. Both Merrill and Ledford pled guilty and were sentenced to 22 years and 14 years of incarceration, respectively.

The SEC's continuing investigation is being conducted by Norman P. Ostrove, Dustin E. Ruta, and Scott A. Thompson of the SEC's Philadelphia Regional Office. The litigation is being led by Julia C. Green and Mark R. Sylvester and supervised by Jennifer Chun Barry. Kelly L. Gibson, Associate Regional Director, is supervising the action. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, the Baltimore field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.